2nd Test: Task cut out for Pakistan batters
Sri Lanka set Pakistan a target of 508 on the penultimate day of the second and final Test at the Galle International Stadium. At stumps on Wednesday, Pakistan were 89 for 1 in their second innings after Sri Lanka declared their second essay at 360 for 8.
The Sri Lankans were robbed of precious time as only six overs could be played in the day’s final session before bad light stopped play. Opener Imam-ul-Haq was batting on 46 with captain Babar Azam on 26 as Pakistan are still 419 runs behind.
No wonder the onus would be on Babar to help Pakistan bat out the final three sessions for a draw, which would also secure the visitors a 1-0 series victory. Earlier, Dhananjaya de Silva smashed 109 to register his ninth Test hundred, helping Sri Lanka consolidate their position in the game.
Home captain Dimuth Karunaratne (61) braved lower back pain to combine in a 126-run stand with De Silva after Sri Lanka resumed on 176 for 5. After the barren first hour, Nauman Ali struck when Abdullah Shafique took a sharp reflex catch at short leg to remove Karunaratne, who became the sixth Sri Lankan batter to score 6,000 Test runs. De Silva brought up his hundred with a boundary off Mohammad Nawaz and got good support from tailender Ramesh Mendis (45 not out).
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 378 & 360/8 (D. De Silva 109, D. Karunaratne 61). Pakistan 231 & 89/1. Stumps, Day IV
(Written with PTI inputs)
KL Rahul will not travel to the West Indies for the five-match T20I series, which begins on Friday. It is learnt that Rahul, who had tested positive for Covid19 last week, has been advised one more week’s rest and recuperation by the BCCI’s medical team.
Rahul had been recovering at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore since undergoing a sports hernia surgery in Germany in late June. He will now focus on the ODIs in Zimbabwe, which are part of the World Cup Super League. India have already qualified for the 2023 ODI World Cup by virtue of being the hosts of the tournament. Rahul hasn’t played competitive cricket since the IPL 2022 Eliminator on May 25 at Eden Gardens.
He was subsequently named captain for the T20I series at home against South Africa, but picked up a right groin injury on the eve of the first match for which he needed surgery.